Lunch at Arbutus, London

Dining at Michelin-starred Arbutus was the perfect start to my new life in London. This lovely Soho restaurant dispels the myth that one cannot eat well in London without spending a lot of money. Offering a lunch time three-course special with two choices per course for an amazing £16.95, Arbutus is an absolute must.

Leaving the January detox on the back burner, I opted for the country terrine with fruit relish, which was much more like a pate than terrine. Really nice. This was followed by a flavoursome squash and wild mushroom risotto, which was cooked to perfection but the pièce de résistance was dessert: French toast served with crushed apples and salted caramel ice-cream. It was a dessert of textures. I was particularly impressed with the ice-cream as usually salted caramel is too sweet. The apples had obviously been stewed well and were a deep rustic tone. And there I was thinking I’d have to return to France for a good dessert. Highly recommended.

63 — 64 Frith Street
+44 (0) 20 7734 4545


  1. cupcake 10 January 2012 / 15:01

    Your photography is exceptional Milla, exceptional! You just made me hungry, or rather I’m hungry for some ‘real food’ and I want THAT! Yum!

    • Milla 11 January 2012 / 02:06

      What a compliment, thank you Cupcake! You’re not still detoxing, are you? I’ve been juicing today and am now famished, but it’s just after 01h00, so no food for me!


      • cupcake 11 January 2012 / 18:52

        My life is a freakin detox Milla! booohooo Still juicing too. When we go out for dinner all bets are off though. I’m going to take you guys to an amazing restaurant in Ottawa & we’ll graze…can’t wait! xo

        • Milla 13 January 2012 / 10:54

          Let’s change that, shall we?! Seriously though Cupcake, too much of a good thing can be awful. I cannot wait to try everything Ottawa has to offer. Someone told me to ignore the French I hear in Montréal – should I be worried!? :-)

  2. Kasia Dietz 10 January 2012 / 15:35

    Looks delicious! And at a great price!! Will meet you there…. soon!

    • Milla 11 January 2012 / 02:05

      That’s a very good price for London, non? I love all this discovery :-)

    • Milla 11 January 2012 / 02:04

      You’re married to a serious foodie – brave move! Great review of a very nice resto!

  3. CinZilicious 11 January 2012 / 05:01

    WOw, what a great start with a food review post, after your return to your good old London home town!!!=D

    Gosh, the way you described the food makes me wanna hope on a helicopter and be in London right NOW!

    I actually love mushroom risotto, it never fails to please my taste buds or satisfy my tummy. I’ve not hear of terrine but i would love to try it one day. It certainly does look like pate but is the taste similar to it as well? I love this particular pate that i grew up with when i was in Denmark. Nothing ever beats it! And its cheap too, where you can find it in the local supermarkets!!!

    The dessert sounds heavenly and it’s got my 3 fave sweet tooth cravings – French toast, caramel, and apple!!! Yummmmmmm, i’ve tried salted caramel once and it was really nice and sweet, perfect for my sweet tooth! I find it odd that it’s labelled salted tho, kinda misleading, lol.

    But I agree, it seems that London does have decent places to eat and at decent prices. Plus the interior decor looks stylish and relaxing, love the black and white colored combo.

    It’s such a pity that i didn’t get to try all these really yum places when i was studying in London but then again, i couldn’t afford to do so with a student status,lol. BUT! I will definitely give this place a try if i ever get the chance. However, i do remember going to this Spanish restaurnt called La Tasca and this bar/restaurant called Browns, located at Butlers Wharf. They were both my fave restaurants when i was living in the Canary Wharf area, and i would go eat there after a good movie at the local cinema and slowly walk my way home whilst walking along the thames river. Miss all of that now!!!!

    Anyhow, before i run off topic here, a big thanks for another great foodie post!!! It’s almost lunch time over here, nom nom…….

    p.s. how are you settling back in London? hope all goes well for you in 2012!!!


  4. sandy@oohlafroufrou 11 January 2012 / 06:07

    Not good that I am reading this post at midnight! Now I want a little snack (resisting, however!). Love seeing the meals that you order, Milla! Btw, your print was mailed again (to the right address this time!) Saturday … let me know when you receive it! xoxo

    Sandy at Ooh La Frou Frou

    • Milla 13 January 2012 / 11:04

      Sorry, not midnight snacks missy! Yay, thanks – I cannot wait to see the print. Have a great weekend! xx

  5. auscanucksarah 11 January 2012 / 08:20

    Wow! Welcome back to London eh?! I’m not a fan of terrines (they freak me out) but the risotto looked amazing! And French toast and ice cream? Hello match made in heaven! Great price!! Wish we had more time in London to squeeze this in!

    • Milla 13 January 2012 / 11:03

      Merci ! Well, I don’t like terrines generally. I don’t like anything with jelly, a jelly-like consistency, eggs or anything remotely like that. This was a pate, for sure. The risotto tasted as good as it looks and the dessert, well, what can I say… See you in a couple of weeks. :-)

  6. Kate 11 January 2012 / 12:20

    A good meal upon arrival is a smart move–glad you put off that detox to enjoy this one. The meal sounds pretty nutritious, actually, (and that desert sounds insanely good, how could you pass that up?).

    • Milla 13 January 2012 / 10:59

      I could easily return just for the dessert – the perfect welcome home meal! xx

      • Milla 13 January 2012 / 10:59

        Yes, it is a kale soup with nutmeg. I didn’t try it but next time :-)

  7. Dress and Dish: Lana 11 January 2012 / 17:51

    Incredible looking food. Wish I could fly there now! I will have to tell my friend in Paris to stop by here on one of her weekends!! Thanks.

    • Milla 13 January 2012 / 10:57

      Lana, what a stunning blog you have! Just started to follow you on Twitter.

  8. Nina F 12 January 2012 / 12:42

    The food looks lovely, you are so good at photographing food too! I look forward to read more of your restaurant (maybe even hotel-) recommendations for London… I hope your new life in London will be all that you want it to be, and then some more! :-) The best of luck to you Milla.

    • Milla 13 January 2012 / 10:42

      Thank you so much Nina! How are you? I’m sad we didn’t get to meet again before I left but when you come to visit, we will enjoy some gluten and dairy-free delights together.

      See you soon!


    • Milla 12 January 2012 / 17:48

      Even better than lentil: kale! I didn’t try it but it looks delish, right?

  9. Wendy Wise 12 January 2012 / 18:47

    Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll check it out next time I’m in London, what a bargain. I always visit Soho to stock up at my favourite Italian deli Lina Stores.

    • Milla 13 January 2012 / 10:38

      I’ve never heard of that deli Wendy but will be sure to check it out. I’m always keen to discover new places so if you have any other recommendations, don’t hesitate to share.

  10. styleonthecouch 15 January 2012 / 02:10

    Those images really make me want to go and visit. I have memories of a meal there a few years ago, but I cannot be sure it was the same place. Portion sizes look perfect to enjoy the meal. A fitting welcome home to London for sure. Take meeeeeeee! (Oh maybe we should do afternoon tea first!)

    • Milla 17 January 2012 / 14:42

      It is so simple, chic and delicious! We have to find somewhere lovely to meet and I’m pretty sure dessert will be involved, albeit dairy-free for me.


  11. kristina 21 January 2012 / 18:58

    this all looks so wonderful milla and your photography is superb!!
    xoxo, kristina

    • Milla 22 January 2012 / 11:36

      Merci! It was so tasty and not all heavy. Really good food in London is possible, who knew!?

  12. 1 February 2012 / 12:53

    wow, you always find the most amazing and stylish dining places.. need to hook me up when back on London Town! 😉

    • Milla 2 February 2012 / 09:41

      To be honest, I’d never even heard of this place until my editor suggested it for lunch. What a treat!

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